It almost seems like atheists don't want to believe in God. Do you just simply not want to believe in God because you don't want to give up your own free will?
ADMIN EDIT: Mercedes has left ThinkAtheist.com on her own accord. This discussion will remain, however do not expect a response from the author.
I think we who remain can be pretty confident she was the real deal. A troll, getting the rise Mercedes got with her simple and challengingly sincere question, would stick around a good while longer for the fireworks. A Poe, too, would get off on the laughs. Mercedes appeared and bowed out so quickly because, within just a few days, she realized she was way out of her cognitive depth and because she much prefers the warm, sandy shallows, where she does not have to tread water, worry about big, toothsome fish, and fret about how far she is from the comforts of beach blanket and Christian radio station.
I agree, Don, but here's thing - sometimes we get some real trolls on here - I recall two guys, "Michael" and "Angelo," who backed each other up, probably from the same dorm room in some Christian college - and they, and those like them, deserve all of the ridicule we can heap on them. But sometimes, we get a genuine "innocent," for lack of a better term, who is so convinced of "god" and "Jeeesus," that they come on the board simply because they can't understand why we can't see what is so obvious to them. This kind can learn something, if we will be patient with them, and educate them as we would a child, but those who are abrasive to them run them off, as convinced as they ever were that we're not playing with a full deck. And some of us aren't.
I think you're right, arch, and I think the level of contempt she encountered was, in part, what caused Mercedes to bail. Engaged less witheringly, she might have lasted here longer, but, again (as you said, I think), such exchanges as these seldom have much effect on the challenged and challenging believer. It's the lurkers and others looking on who stand to gain by the back-and-forth--and many do, I'm sure.
I agree completely about the "lurkers," though I prefer to think of them as, "the observers," as I was once one for a bit, trying to determine the caliber of what was said here before I waded in.
But we have had Mercedes, and another "innocent," Ariceli, and of course that renowned chameleon, Jessica/Sarah/Belle Rose, who came here to save us, and somewhere between Jessica and Sarah, became an agnostic, then a born-again Christian, again, then a born-again agnostic, then disappeared, only to resurface as our own, Belle Rose, a full-blown atheist. So, it happens --
(Belle - ja, ja - ¿quien te ama, Querida?)
The "So farewell, then" opening line is a long tradition in a British satirical news publication called "Private Eye". It's something I grew up with. You can read a bit about it if you look up the fictional author, E.J.Thribb (age 17 1/2) which is how the fake character signs his name. Here is a wiki bit on it. I meant no offence to Mercedes specifically - it's more of a traditional eulogy.
"¿coqueton?" - ¿Yo? ¡Nunca!
But admittedly ("It took me some time to come out of D'Nile River but I made it, soaking wet"), I don't mind the occasional wet T-shirt --
ahhh yet when I said that she was a troll, apparently I was told I am "insensitive, a bit short on empathy, and do not know any other way to express myself."
Yes, I said that. Possibly the problem is one of definition - to me, a troll is someone with malicious intent. On the other hand, calling someone a troll who is here to learn, and only expresses her own beliefs - whether or not they agree with yours - seems, "insensitive, a bit short on empathy, and do not know any other way to express myself."
Except the fact she didn't come here to learn about anything other than to preach her bible, which evidently was very clear from the beginning and even more so now
But hey at least you have no shame in admitting your malicious accusations.
She never preached to me. She asked a question, some of us answered, others attacked.
She answered our questions and gave her reasoning to the best of her ability... circular though it may be.
If you wan to see preaching, find posts by David Henderson, or Student of Knowledge.
What this girl did is have questions about atheism, and by the reaction of some, had her stereotypes about us validated.
I think calling her a troll was less of an insult.
Only if you think that little of her.